The Many Benefits of Regular Exercise

The Many Benefits of Regular Exercise

The saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is no longer relevant in today’s age where technology has given you more things to do in the same amount of time.

People are more stressed out and become prone to adapt unhealthy habits. As a result, global obesity continues to rise to coincide with the rising number of cardiovascular related diseases. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to exercise.

It’s time for people to realize that exercise will benefit you in more ways than one. Here are the many benefits you get from regular exercise:

Physical Benefits:

Exercise makes you move and movement requires coordination between your Central Nervous System (CNS), muscle tissues, bones and supporting tendons.

The more you exercise the more energy you create from stored calories. Exercise triggers this entire chain of events that helps your body become more efficient and functional.

Regardless of the type of exercise you do, you will build strength. It’s not just muscular strength. Even your bones, tendons and ligaments become stronger which lowers your risk of getting osteoporosis as you get older.

As your muscle becomes stronger, it develops the characteristics that allow it to accommodate greater work load. You build bigger, fuller and more toned muscles!

Exercise stimulates different neural pathways that become more efficient the more you train them. The end result is better overall functionality.

Your day-to-day activities such as walking, sitting, picking objects from the floor, carrying a bag on your shoulders, playing with your kids become easier and pain-free.

Increased physical activity also improves the efficiency by which your organs function. This is called metabolism. As your metabolism increases, you burn more unwanted body fat. Thus, exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Medical Health Benefits:

Excess glucose or blood sugar is stored as body fat and exposes you to the risk of developing type II diabetes. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity.

This means consumed carbohydrates are more readily stored as glycogen or muscle energy in muscle tissue. With regular exercise, you are able to convert stored glucose into energy.

Your heart is a muscle. If you don’t exercise your heart, it will get weaker. Regular exercise will reduce your level of Low Density Lipo-Proteins or LDL, the bad cholesterol and protect you from cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes.

Exercise improves overall blood circulation. Your vital organs consistently receive nutrient-rich blood and oxygen which improve overall function. This also enhances the way your immune system functions which is why people who exercise regularly hardly get sick.

Mental Health Benefits:

With improved blood circulation, your brain is able to perform at its best. Regular exercise improves your level of cognition, increases mental alertness and reduces your risk of memory loss.

Studies have consistently shown that regular exercise can stave off dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of mental illness.

Emotional Benefits:

Why do you think the most successful and iconic people in business and politics today always take time to exercise? In fact, it is the first thing they do in the morning.

This list of fitness early risers includes Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and US President Barack Obama.

This is because exercise makes you feel good! In addition to exercise’s ability to improve cognition, it also releases mood- enhancing endorphins that helps get their day off to great start. Doctors have long prescribed exercise as the most effective way to manage stress.

There are also numerous studies that show exercise helps counter the effects of depression and lowers the risk of suicide.

Finally, when you are more attuned with what your body can do, you develop greater confidence. Of course, as you build muscle and burn fat, you start to feel more confident about the way you look. It’s easier to buy clothes that fit well and you will notice more people are appreciative of your physical changes.

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

Unless you are a competitive athlete, you don’t have to exercise more than 4 days a week. 4 is a good baseline number because it leaves only 3 days in a week for inactivity.

In terms of duration, the old benchmark of 30 minutes per day of light activity may not as effective to maintain overall health and fitness. Try to put in at least 1 hour of exercise which includes 30 minutes of strength training, 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity and 10 minutes of stretching.

Find time in the day to exercise. It does not have to be at a gym. You can exercise in the park or in your own home. If you love your life, take time to care for your health. Exercise is an investment that will pay out continued dividends over the course of your life.

How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle by Eating the Right Foods

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle by Eating the Right Foods

If you want to be healthy and fit, you must exercise regularly and follow a strict diet. Of these, many people would find regular exercise easier to do. For one thing, you don’t have to exercise everyday to get fit. Second, 30 minutes to 1 hour is all the time you need for exercise.

But diet is a different story. The word “diet” connotes images of people suffering; of bland, tasteless food or perhaps rail- thin supermodels munching on carrot sticks.

In truth the word “diet” is a misnomer. A diet is not only designed to lose weight. There are diets to put on weight and for maintaining weight.  If properly planned, a diet isn’t a four- letter word.

The Road to a Healthy Lifestyle Does Not Start in Your Stomach

Can you imagine what would happen if you put diesel in your gasoline- powered car? You will spend thousands of dollars flushing out all the diesel fuel from your car and by then, there would be other damages as well.

What you eat affects everything you do. You have to make smarter choices when it comes to healthy eating. If you consistently eat junk foods or those that are heavily processed with refined sugars, high- fructose corn syrup, excessive amounts of sodium and artificial ingredients, your body and health will pay for it.

The ingredients used for food processing have been linked to obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Unmitigated consumption of these items will lead to deteriorating health and unending medical bills.

So why do people eat these types of foods if it can make them seriously ill?

It’s because many have been influenced or “programmed” by Big Business that food has to taste good to make you feel good. Food undergoes processing to improve taste, extend shelf life and lower cost. Of course, Big Business will not tell you the important disclaimer about processed food.

It can kill you.

The road to a healthier lifestyle does not start in your stomach. It starts in your mind.

Unlearn all the ideas Big Business has driven into your consciousness. Let go of your unsubstantiated beliefs that healthy food is bland and tasteless. Instead of validating your choice with price, why not try to value your own health?

If you want to eat healthy, you must open your mind to all the possibilities and fully embrace its benefits.

Best Sources of Healthy Food

If you shouldn’t eat processed foods what should you eat?

Your best sources of healthy food are those that are un-processed or produced using farm- friendly methods. This means fruits and vegetables should not have been exposed to chemicals and pesticides. Meat should not have been injected with hormones or fed whole grains.

In order to function well, you should have the right balance of macronutrients. These macronutrients or macros; carbohydrates, protein and fat all play distinct functions in the human body:

  • Carbohydrates – Immediate source of energy; converted into glycogen and stored into muscle tissue. Also essential to fast track recovery after exercise.
  • Protein – Made of amino acids which comprise muscle tissue, bones, ligaments and skin. Protein initiates repair and rebuilding of muscle tissue damaged during exercise.
  • Fat – Protects cells; spares protein from getting used up. Healthy fat such as Omega- 3’s is good to ensure heart health.

There are many great sources to get your daily requirement of macronutrients. In addition to macros, these sources are also rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy compounds that fight cancer, strengthen the immune system and regulate blood sugar.

Here is a grocery list of the best sources of food:

  1. Carbohydrates:
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Fruits of Various Colors
  1. Protein:
  • Grass Fed Beef
  • Organic Poultry
  • Lean Porkloin
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Soybean
  • Greek Yogurt
  1. Fat:
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olive Oil
  • Ground Flaxseed

The Best Way to Prepare… and Enjoy Healthy Food

One of the biggest myths in eating healthy is that food doesn’t taste good. It’s easy to make healthy food taste good by following these simple tips:

  1. Don’t Store Meats for a Long Time. Cook protein sources such as beef and chicken on the day you bought them. Or if you want to marinate them, 24 hours from date of purchase. Remember raw food creates the ideal conditions for contamination. It will continue to deteriorate even when it is in the refrigerator.
  1. Flavor Your Food Well. One of the best ways to prepare food is braising. The first step is to set up your flavor base which is made up of vegetables such as carrots, celery and onions. Vegetables have natural sugars which help flavor your food. Next use healthier options such as low sodium soy sauce, mustard or sesame oil for another layer of flavor.
  1. Best Ways to Cook Your Food. Aside from braising, baking, grilling are other healthier options to prepare your food because it decreases the fat content.

Finally spread out your meals throughout the day. Try to eat 5 meals broken down as 3 large meals and 2 snacks. Eating frequently increases metabolism and keeps you from going hungry.

Eating healthy does not have to be a challenge. When you are assured of your health, you live a better life. Now that is real comfort food!

10 Best Ways to Manage Stress

Manage Stress

Manage Stress With These 10 Tips

Stress is the world’s number one killer. It has been attributed as one of the primary causes of life- threatening medical conditions and has pushed many people to make questionable, often fatal decisions.

But like it or not, stress is your constant companion. There are many triggers of stress in every facet of life. You cannot avoid stress, but you can manage it.

Here are the 10 best ways to manage stress:

  1. Exercise Regularly. Doctors are unanimous in prescribing exercise as the best way to manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel- good” hormones. This is why many of the leaders in the world of business and politics prioritize exercise first thing in the morning.

Exercise also regulates blood sugar, maintains healthy blood pressure and strengthens the immune system. It is also a great way to relieve tension and clear the mind.

  1. Eat Healthy. When you eat healthy food, you give your body the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. Junk food or those processed with refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring are associated with various health conditions.

These health conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, obesity and certain types of cancer. Foods that are high in sugar will create massive swings in your blood pressure and affect your mood. Processed foods have also been linked with mental illness.

  1. Get Enough Sleep. Sleep in an overlooked component to health and fitness but it could just be as important as exercise and diet.

You should get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. This assures your body and mind are well- rested and recovered for the following day’s activities. If you lack sleep, your ability to focus and work through solutions for pending problems will be seriously compromised.

  1. Do Not Over-Indulge. It is perfectly fine to go out on a night on the town with some friends. But be mindful on the extent of your revelry.

Drinking alcoholic beverages is a favorite way to de-stress by adults. But alcohol can impair your judgment. You could be enticed to participate in adventurous sexual behavior. Before you know it, you are exhibiting signs of HPV which leads to more stress.

Moderate the way you indulge. No matter how much you drink or revel, the stressors will still remain unless you address them.

  1. Spend Time with Your Family. In times of stress, it will benefit you to seek positive reinforcement. This is especially true if you have children.

Take them to the park, play catch, have a slice of pizza and ice cream or watch a movie. When it feels like the world is against you and that it is an evil place, your children will make you realize life is still worth fighting for.

  1. Avoid Toxic People. If times are getting particularly stressful, the last thing you need is more toxicity. Unfortunately, everyone has at least one toxic person in their lives.

The reality is there is more than one toxic person in our life. They could be family members, childhood friends, school mates, people in the office or associates. No one needs negative behavior or attitude that brings other people them.

  1. Own a Pet. There are 2 great things about pets that in many ways make them better than people:
  • They will stay loyal to you.
  • They will love you unconditionally.

This is why many stress- relief centers or practices involve the use of animals especially dogs and cats. Is there any wonder why cat videos are the most popular videos on YouTube?

  1. Go Outdoors. If you’ve spent the week cooped up in an office, a classroom or any place that has 4 walls take a change of scenery and go the great outdoors instead of Facebook.

Take a long, leisurely hike. Go trail biking. Why not row your boat down the stream? Whatever it is, take it outdoors. Shut down technology and breathe the fresh air, get awed by the scenery and appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature.

  1. Take Up a Creative Hobby. Do you ever hear voices in your head when you are trying to sleep? These are what psychologists call “white noise”. They manifest your anxieties, fears, doubts and self- limiting beliefs. They will also leave you with many sleepless nights.

The best way to shut off the white noise is to take up a creative hobby such as music or arts and crafts. Creativity stimulates a different part of the brain than the one you use when solving problems at work or school. It helps you relax and pre-occupies your mind with new brain activity.

  1. Find Your Spirituality. If you can’t manage stress physically, emotionally, mentally, perhaps the root cause is your spirituality.

There are times when everything we do seems to fall short at resolving issues and problems that we begin to question the purpose of our suffering. Sometimes the answer goes deeper than any business theory or mathematical equation.

People will often go find their spirituality to find affirmation in who they are; and what they need to do to achieve their purpose for being.

Stress should not discourage you from exploring life to the fullest. You should always dictate how you want to live your life and not be scared of its many mysteries. If you learn how to manage stress, you will realize that the best experiences have yet to be discovered.

iWatch Apps that fit in with your healthy lifestyle

iWatch Apps that fit in with your healthy lifestyle

iWatch Apps that fit in with your healthy lifestyle

Long gone are the days when you would only wear a watch to tell the time or as a statement of fashion. In this day and age, if your time piece cannot forecast the weather or monitor your pulse, you won’t be considered one of the cool kids. The apple iWatch 2 is the newer version of its same named predecessor but this version comes a new operating system and subsequently an influx of new and innovative apps, some of these apps aid you in sleeping, some keep you entertained whilst travelling and some of course are cutting edge in fitness technology. Some are good, some not much. Let’s take a look at a few.

LoseIt:

Lose it, like Sleep++ is one of those apps that should be perfect for the Apple watch as it can use features just not designed for the mobile device. Abundant in useful features the app counts calories, counts steps and even reminds you to log your food in conjunction with an app on your phone. That in itself is one of its biggest advantages, how easy it can integrate with other apps such as myFitness and RunKeeper so you can really get a grasp of your body performance and nutrition. It’s hard to find any flaws with it as it does exactly what it advertises without over complicating things. There could be an argument that it could add a few more features being one of the fitness leaders but that’s just being picky.

Clear:

Let’s go back to basics where the Watch really is very useful. Clear, quite simply is a To-Do list app, but although the functionality required is simple, it does what is intends to do very well, arguably better than all of it’s competitors on the app store. One of it’s biggest pros is its aesthetic, beautiful colours popping off that high resolution screen make the user just that bit more motivated to be able to tick off their task. Not only can you view, what is left on your itinerary, you can add tasks, set reminders and say when a task is completed. Again for some people, this might be a bit too simple, but for most, this is guaranteed to be perfect for the job at hand.

Sleep++:

This is the type of app that people predicted would be most likely to succeed on the Apple Watch. When the user keeps the watch on at night the app will monitor how ‘well’ he or she slept. In the morning the app will report back to you how deep or light your sleep was and how many times you were restless or awoke. Of course there is problems that come with this, does the user really want to keep a fairly chunky wrist piece on when they go to sleep? And if so they will most likely need to put the device on charge as soon as they awake as the app can be pretty battery intensive. If the user is ok with these conditions then they can get some informative feedback about their sleep, however if they are truly serious about statistics about how well they drop off, maybe a specific sleep band such as the Jawbone UP3 is a better option.

ProCamera:

It’s still quite a cool sight to see the small crisp screen of a watch as a viewfinder for your phone. We’ve all been in that position where we have wanted to take a picture of something but maybe in a more discreet way, now you can just look at your wrist whilst you get that crazy angle selfie. This app is so useful because it offers so many more features than the standard Apple version such as low light mode, ease of video and timer settings too. However $2.99 probably is a bit steep for just an improved version of the original, and how useful is it really when you already have the viewfinder of your phone to take photos? That depends on how awkward those selfie angles are going to be.

Instagram:

You may have heard of this little app called Instagram but unlike other social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, Instagram really excels on the small screen. Although it does have limited features compared to it’s computer and mobile counterparts, for example you cannot take or upload pictures via the watch, what you can do is see a condensed version of your followed feed. A lot of the mainstream apps simply do not translate to the Apple Watch, but Instagram has found a way accentuating the basics such as viewing photos, liking them and viewing the data that goes with the photo. What’s more is if you come across a feature not compatible with the watch, with one swipe you can access it on your phone, simple!

So, that is an overview of some of the more notorious apps in a sea of never ending competitors. It is fair to say that there was quite an underwhelming response to the first Apple Watch, but it seems that developers are finally seeing what works and what doesn’t when translated to the smaller screen and that is promising. As with most things, it all comes down to the user, some prefer minimalism with the app doing just as it is needed, whereas some people prefer an app to be extremely functional, with the majority of apps being free, it’s worth it for a user to spend some time trying and testing apps to understand themselves, what they prefer.

 

 

5 Vaccines You Should Get Soon Before The Dreaded Diseases Grab You

The Vaccine Story

Mass vaccination campaigns using the new vaccine reached nearly

Shock probably struck you in the face when you overheard two mothers gossip about their children’s vaccines, who administers which to who, and how come they memorize the names like they’re medicalmractitioners.

At one point during the bus ride, you wondered, “Did I ever get those vaccines, too?” So you frantically called your mom and asked her. Sadly, the only thing she said was, “Hun, I don’t remember anymore. Please request a copy of your medical records.”

You called your family doctor’s number and was routed to the Office Manager. She remembers you because your mom has apparently called her earlier, worried sick as usual. She advised your medical records should be released within 48 hours and told you this: “There are some vaccines you need to get as an adult. If you missed some dose, you need to get them soon.”

Kudos to your eavesdropping, you got yourself a blessing-in-disguise. Let me help you, here are some of the vaccines Ms. Office Manager might tell you about once you see her.

The Vaccine List

1. Flu Vaccine

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This shot is ideally once a year, badly needed from September to May. The sooner you get it, the better.

2. Pneumococcal Vaccine

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This dose serves as a defense for pneumonia, blood infections, and bacterial meningitis. There are two types of this vaccine which you’ll need by the age of 65. For younger people at a high risk of pneumonia, such as those who smoke or have asthma, you’ll need both shots, too.

3. Hepatitis A

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This one’s tricky and a little controversial. If you’re in a high-risk community, have a long-term liver disease or HIV, or use blood products for blood clotting, you need to get a shot soon. No offense to the LGBT community, if you are a man who is sexually active with another man, darling, you need to get this ASAP.

4. Hepatitis B

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Same rules as Hepa-A apply. Additional risks requiring a shot include:

• Diabetes, advanced kidney disease or dialysis
• Living in the same house with a Hepa-B patient
• Having sex with more than one partner
• Being in prison or victims of sexual assault or abuse

5. HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine

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If you’re below 26 years of age and haven’t received this shot when you were younger, please get one soon. This vaccine is ideally received before having your first sexual intercourse.

These are just some vaccines you need to get. Please confirm with your medical provider if you need another shot. Please entrust this to a professional and never attempt to self-administer to cut costs.

4 Home Remedies to Try First Before Drinking Any Medicine

Are you that type who promptly buys over-the-counter medications when you’re under the weather? Or grabs your medicine kit right away when you feel sick? Do you hate feeling ill so much you take drugs right away?

We encourage our readers to take action on their health immediately. However, we do not push them to become drug-dependent, no matter how safe a medication is. Sometimes, it’s better to go green.
Here are some remedies you can try first before popping that pill.

Colds

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• Hydrate with warm water mixed with honey.
• Avoid exposure or inhaling cold air from air-conditioned areas or outside.
• Rest in a room where it is just warm enough to keep you comfortable and where you can turn a humidifier on to ease congestion and dryness of throat.
• Have a roll of tissue nearby to blow your nose when the need arises quickly.

Sore Throat

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• Rest your voice and avoid unnecessary talking.
• Hydrate and keep your throat moist with warm water, broth, or honey.
• Frequently drink cold caffeine-free fluids to relieve soreness.
• Gargle with a saltwater solution.
• Try to humidify the air to keep your throat moist.

Dry Unproductive Cough

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• Take a tablespoon of raw honey two to three times a day. Honey’s antibacterial properties are known to soothe throat and membrane irritation.
• Milk or lemon juice with honey also comes as a good combination when served warm.

Fever

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• Wear light clothing to avoid trapping the heat within layers of clothes.
• Even if you feel cold, try to wipe your limbs with a damp cloth and place it on your forehead while you rest. Your body needs to exhale that high temperature, too.
• Hydrate with refreshing caffeine-free drinks. Preferably, drink citrus-rich juices to help combat any infection.
• Rest in a well-ventilated area.
• Monitor your temperature every 2-4 hours to check any progress.

These are very natural remedies to follow. If you prefer to take any OTCs, that’s fine, too. However, we recommend you try these methods from time to time. We don’t want your bodies to depend on medications all the time.

If symptoms persist, you know what to do. Call the doctor or go to any outpatient clinic near you.

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3 Quick and Healthy Snacks to Start Your Day

Preparing healthy food doesn’t have to take much time. While there are a lot more complicated organic diets that can spell fitness for us, eating right can be as easy as 1-2-3.

We’ve prepared you a cheat sheet today of three healthy recipes you can do easily at home. We’ll have more next time.

Hearty Tuna Spread

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This recipe is very straightforward to make using only four ingredients found in most pantries: oil packed tuna bits, one whole red onion, mayonnaise, and cheese.

Start by slicing the onion into small pieces and place it in a regular sized bowl. Drain the oil from the can of tuna and add to the bowl. Grate your desired amount of cheese over it and, finally, add 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Mix them all together and serve with loaves of bread. You can also add black ground pepper or chili powder to spice this spread up.

Simple Caesar Salad

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With this dish, you can use either Romaine, Iceberg, or Loose-leaf Lettuce. Other ingredients include regular Ceasar salad dressing, crab sticks, corn kernels, crouton, and Parmesan cheese. To proceed, you can either tear the lettuce leaves by hand or cut with a knife. Place them in a bowl along with a cup of corn kernels and crouton. Slice the crab sticks into thinner pieces and add to the bowl. Pour in some dressing and top it with Parmesan cheese.

Optionally you can cook the crouton on low heat over salted butter and add cherry tomatoes for a more flavorful experience.

Classic Egg Salad / Sandwich

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Egg salads have been part of every household as one of the easiest, healthiest and cheapest snacks. Essential ingredients such as eggs, spring onion, mayonnaise, and crushed black pepper complete this treat.

Start by hard boiling 2-3 whole eggs, peeled and chopped afterward. In a bowl, mix the chopped eggs, 1/4 spring onion, 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and a pinch of black pepper all together. Add a pinch of salt to taste. You can also add Iceberg lettuce and use the salad as a spread.

If you got hungry as much as I did, grab yourself any of these easy, healthy recipes.